MJ blathers

dark poet who loves to laugh

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true holiday tree

gentle rain
whispering onto the feather-needled tree
collecting as reflecting drops
of silver or glistening crystal
at the ends of each tiny twig
outshining bolder lights
of tinsel and commercial greed


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Kelley’s Island

I am from sliding down the Glacial Grooves (now fenced)
I am from stepping on someone’s broken bottle half-buriedin the sand
of Sandy Beach, my sister Carolyn burying my trail of blood as
Mom carried me to the car; the doctor in the trailer near the ferry dock
stitching up my gaping foot
I am from Caroly carrying me on her back through the field of poison ivy
because she was not allergic (she was)
I am from the concrete steps down to the boat landing at the mansion
on the far side of the island; Grandma Page fell down, hollering
“Char-ruls” all the way; Grandma depended on my daddy, too
I am from Mom’s brothers, on leave from Army and Marines, on the barrel-raft
out in Lake Erie, yelling and waving to warn Uncle Bud in Navy whites
not to set foot on the slime-coated rock shelf that played at being beach
in front of our rented cottage
Bud’s legs ran many miles before they went out from beneath him
and he slid on his behind into the water
I am from campfires among the rocks on starry nights
singing to the mosquitos
and the goo of som’ores
as the sparks flew upward

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wild mane and heaping
crest of oregon
stallion wave

eerie rims of mare’s
frightened eyes

flashing, too-bright teeth
of used car salesman
“trust me”

billowing cloud
rimmed in gray
roiling toward a storm

ash of what-were homes
no longer paradise

brilliant bald eagle
atop fluttering oak
sloughing off its gold

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submission forms for Writers in the Grove’s WINTERSONG

WINTERSONG Submission Form

A Writers in the Grove Event
Saturday, February 2, 2019

We invite you to participate in the fourth year of this event. Good luck and here’s how to proceed:

Event Description: Writers in the Grove is pleased to host a public reading at the Forest Grove United Methodist Church, 1726 Cedar Street, Forest Grove, Oregon, on Saturday, February 2 from 10:30 AM to about noon.

Eligibility: This event is open to all ages. It is free to enter and to attend.

Submission Guidelines:

Deadline: Entries must be handed in or postmarked by January 10, 2019.

Entries: Submissions per applicant are limited to one or more pieces of prose or poetry or songs that
can be read aloud within four minutes (Please do a trial run at home). If applicant anticipates
taking longer to read the piece, it should be excerpted.
Entries must be original, written by the applicant, and must not infringe any copyright or other
proprietary rights.

Criteria for Selection: Pieces will be selected on the basis of originality, writing style and quality of the
work. The decisions of the Selection Committee will be final. Each submission must not exceed
four minutes reading time (probably no more than 600 words of prose or 70 lines of poetry).

All genres are welcome, subject to the following filter: Please note that this event will be family-friendly. Submissions should reflect content that is suitable for mixed age groups. Content and submissions deemed inappropriate will not be considered.

Format: Songs, poems and prose should be typed, double spaced in 12-point font size, on white paper.
Please avoid fancy, hard-to-read typefaces. Include a title on each page of your submission.

Submit two copies of your entry, neither of which should show your name. The Committee will place your entry number on the back of the copies for identification.

Notification of Selection: If your entry is chosen, you will be notified no later than January 24, 2019, and you will read your entry at the event on February 2, 2019.

Liability and Copyright Licensing Agreement: The applicant must sign and submit a liability release
agreement and a copyright licensing agreement (see last page of application).

If you have questions see writersinthegrove.com, contact maryjanenordgren@gmail.com or talk with any member of Writers in the Grove.
Please keep this information for your records.
Submission Application


Applicant’s Name: _______________________________________
Address: ______________________________________________
City: ______________________________________ State _______ Zip code: ____________
Phone Number: Home _________________________________ Cell ___________
Email: ____________________________________________________________
How would you prefer to be contacted? [ ] mail [ ] home phone [ ] cell [ ] e-mail
Title(s) of your piece(s): ____________________________________________

______________________________________ _________________________ ___________
Applicant’s Signature Applicant’s Parent or Guardian Date
must sign if applicant is age 17 or under

Liability Release and Copyright Licensing Agreement

I, the undersigned applicant, understand that I (or my designated reader) will be responsible for reading any selected piece at the event. Writers in the Grove will not be responsible for any loss or damage related to reading the piece at the event. By submitting my entry to Writers in the Grove, I agree not to hold the Writers in the Grove, the Selection Committee, or any of the members of Writers in the Grove liable for any loss or damage. The Writers in the Grove and the Selection Committee will not be liable for any legal action brought by anyone with respect to authorship and/or copyright infringement. By submission, I guarantee that this is my original work and that the Writers in the Grove are not required to research this claim.

I, the undersigned applicant, grant to Writers in the Grove and the Event Committee, permission to photograph or videotape me (and use my picture, silhouette and other reproductions of my physical likeness) and my original entry submitted on behalf of the Writers in the Grove. All copyrights cannot be assigned or transferred without the express written consent of the undersigned and all rights of ownership of the piece remain my exclusive property.

________________________________ ____________________________ ___________
Applicant’s Signature Applicant’s Parent or Guardian Date
must sign if applicant is age 17 or under

Checklist for Completed Registration
____ Two copies of your piece without personal identification, but title on each numbered page
____ Completed Submission Application
____ Signed Liability Release and Copyright Licensing Agreement
____ Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by Jan 10, 2019

Mail all of the above to: WINTERSONG
47777 S.W. Ihrig Road, Forest Grove, OR 97116